Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top Comedy DVD's of 2010

I can only pick 9 of these, I'm not as big on DVD's as I am albums. But these are my favorite comedy DVD's of 2010.

9. Lewis Black, Stark Raving Black

While not as strong as Black's previous specials, Black's full performance showcased on the DVD is stronger than the special alone. In this DVD Black talks about his aging, his parents and shares stories of performing after some acts that were impossible to follow. His take on aging is especially good, as he also deconstructs the idiotic things people say around him, such as "60 is the new 40," and as Black says, "60 is not 40. 60 is 60 and 40 is 40, THAT'S WHY THEY'RE DIFFERENT FUCKING NUMBERS!"
Favorite Bit: Black rants about Twitter for about 30 seconds. Concise and brilliant.

8. Dan Cummins, Crazy With a Capital F

Cummins is a great joke writer. He has a very subdued, controlled delivery and pace, but he keeps his special funny all the way through. Not to be missed.
Favorite Bit: Cummins does a bit about how impossible violence is seen in an almost charming light.

7. David Cross, Bigger and Blackerer

Again I would say that this special isn't as strong as Cross previous special/albums. But it is still good. Cross discusses drugs, religion and gets playful at the end with a couple of games he and his friends like to play. There are also some sketches at the beginning of the DVD that are great. My only qualm is that sometimes Cross' personal viewpoints interfere with his comedic flow. But he still fights through it and has some great bits on here.
Favorite Bit: Cross reads a postcard with date safety tips that reads "Remember, alcohol loosens inhibitions, so you may do something you regret...or worse." And then Cross speculates what that may entail.

6. Arj Barker, LYAO

Arj Barker has a great delivery and solid material. He remains very likable through his whole set, and his observational style of comedy is punctuated by his resounding voice. He talks about tolerance for gays, technology, and my favorite, global warming. He also deconstructs water... while talking to water. He even goes deep into a joke and then stops to tell the audience, "Ok, clearly I am not educated enough to finish this joke." It's silly and just a fun DVD to watch.
Favorite Bit: The global warming bit, as I mentioned.

5. Paul F. Tompkins, You Should Have Told Me

Tompkins is one of my favorite comedians out there, and in this DVD he gets a lot more personal, and goes into a more storyteller mode than usual. He shares many life experiences he's had and his anecdotal style is punctuated by his great comedic quips and observations. Many times he will add a "what if" scenario to the true events that happened to him.
Favorite Bit: Tompkins discusses his mother's death and funeral (can you see the hilarity?) but no, seriously Tompkins keeps it heartfelt and funny the whole way through.

4. Kevin hart, Seriously Funny

Kevin hart remains infectiously funny and upbeat through this entire set. Hart is one of the most likable people in comedy, and also knows how to tell a story. Hart isn't a dark soul or a social commentator, but he is very fun to watch and you can't help but have a good time watching this DVD.
Favorite Bit: Hart discusses watching his grandpa fall, and then mocks the way Shaq (who's in the crowd) falls during games. I don't even watch basketball much and it's hilarious to me.

3. Joe Rogan, Talking Monkeys in Space

The ex-host of fear factor and current UFC color commentator puts out another great DVD. Rogan, for the first time starts opening up about his aging ("I got gray ball hair"), and talks about the latest development in his life: becoming a father. The explosive Rogan also discusses drug use and drug commercials at length and it is hilarious. Rogan is one of the more underrated comedians working today, and is much more intelligent than is given credit for. He closes it out with a Q&A session with the audience that Rogan keeps funny all the way through.
Favorite Bit: His Mount Everest bit that he's done on previous albums but is expanded even more here.

2. Bo Burnham, Words Word Words

Bo Burnham mixes original comedic music with a tongue in cheek sensibility. He toys with the English language in numerous ways, and this is in my opinion his best work so far. He not only plays songs, but breaks down the conventions of stand up comedy and soceity as a whole. He even gets serious when he plays a song entitled, "Art is dead," which has a line in it about George Carlin that almost brought a tear to my eye.
One of the must have DVDs of the year.
Favorite Bit/Song: While "Oh Bo" and "Words Words Words" are lyrically unrivaled, "Art is Dead" is the one I can't stop listening to. As a 21 year old comedian I can relate to a lot of what Bo says in it.

1. Bill Burr, Let it Go

No contest. The best comedy DVD of the year goes to Bill Burr. No offense to the other comedians above or ones that didn't make the list, but this was an easy choice to make. In this DVD Burr attacks Mothers, stores that make you "do it yourself" and bankers. If you listen to his podcast you know he can't stand bankers. There's also a cool feature on the DVD where you get taken behind the scenes of one of his podcasts. Burr talks extensively about his girlfriend and his new dog, which he was hesitant to get but now loves. Burr's gift for description and references are at the top class of the business, easily.
Favorite Bit:
Burr closes his set with an excellent bit, about the "Old Man face." An excellent 5 minute piece of how a woman breaks a man down over the course of a lifetime.

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